Sura Sad

Priority: b, Quality: b
From wikishia
This article is an introduction to the Sura Sad; to read its text see text:Sura Sad.
Sura Sad
Sura Number38
Revelation Number38
Verse Count88
Word Count735
Letter Count3061\

Sūra Sād (Arabic: سوره ص) is the thirty eighth sura of the Qur'an. It is a Makki sura in the twenty third juz'. The appellation of the sura as "Sad" is because of the occurrence of the disjointed letter, "sad", at the opening of the sura. Themes of the sura include the call to monotheism and sincerity by the Prophet (s), the obstinacy of polytheists against the truth, stories of some prophets, and what becomes of pious people and wrong-doers after the resurrection.

The occasion of the revelation of the sura (its first verses, indeed) was a conversation between unbelievers and the Prophet (s). The sura has a reference to a conversation between God and Iblis and the curse and outcast of Iblis as well. An effect of the recitation of this sura is said to be one's protection against minor and major sins.


  • Naming

The sura opens with the disjointed letter, "sad", which is why it came to be called "Sura Sad".[1]

  • Place and Order of Revelation

Sura Sad is a Makki Sura. In the order of revelation, it was the thirty eighth sura revealed to the Prophet (s). In the current order of compilation, it is also the thirty eighth sura,[2] located in the juz' twenty three of the Qur'an.

  • Number of Verses and Other Features

Sura Sad has eighty eight verses, 735 words, and 3061 letters. With regard to its length, it counts as one of the Mathani Suras of the Qur'an, approximately equaling to one hizb. Sura Sad is the twentieth sura that begins with disjointed letters (al-huruf al-muqatta'a). The verse twenty four of the sura involves a recommended sajda (that is, upon reciting or hearing the verse, it is recommended to prostrate).[3] Sura Sad is said to be a supplement for Qur'an 37 because the structure of the former is very similar to that of the latter.[4]


The main theme of the sura is the Prophet (s) and his call to monotheism and sincerity with the book God has revealed to him.[5]

The content of the sura can be summarized in five sections:

  • Monotheism and the prophethood of the Prophet (s) and the obstinacy of polytheists against him,
  • The necessity of reflection upon the Qur'an, and comments made by polytheists about the Qur'an,
  • Reference to stories of nine prophets, particularly David (a), Solomon (a), and Job (a),
  • The condition of pious people and wrong-doers or unbelievers after the resurrection, and disputes among dwellers of the Hell,
  • The creation of the human being, his great status, and the prostration of angels to Adam (a),
  • The story of Satan and Adam (a), and Satan's oath to deceive human beings,
  • Warning obstinate enemies and consoling the Prophet (s).[6]
Content of Sura Sad[7]
Obligations of the Prophet when facing accusations directed by unbelievers against him
First obligation: verses 1-16
Replying to objections by unbelievers
Second obligation: verse 17-48
Patience over the divine test, just like previous prophets
Third obligation: verses 49-64
Reminding the fate of pious people and unbelievers after the resurrection
Fourth obligation: verse 65-88
Delineation of his own goals and plans
First subject: verses 1-3
Obstinacy of unbelievers against the teachings of the Qur'an
First example: verses 17-29
Prophet David’s reward for his patience over the divine test
First subject: verses 49-54
The reward of pious people in the Heaven
First goal: verse 65-66
Say: I call to monotheism
Second subject: verses 4-8
Accusations by unbelievers
Second example: verses 30-40
Solomon's (a) reward for his patience
Second subject: verses 55-58
Punishment of obstinate unbelievers in the Hell
Second goal: verses 67-85
Say: the Qur'an is from God
Third subject: verses 9-16
Replies to accusations and objections
Third example: verses 41-44
Prophet Job's (a) reward for his patience
Third subject: verses 59-61
Unbelievers and their leaders cursing one another in the Hell
Third goal: verses 86-88
Say: I do not ask any rewards from you
Fourth example: verses 45-47
Rewards for the patience of Abraham (a), Isaac (a), and Jacob (a)
Fourth subject: verses 62-64
Dwellers of the Hell regret their ridicules of believers in this world
Fifth example: verse 48
Rewards for the patience of Ishmael (a), Elisha (a), and Dhu l-Kifl (a)

Occasion of the Revelation of the First Verses

Imam al-Baqir (a) is quoted as saying that Abu Jahl and a number of people from Quraysh went to Abu Talib, the Prophet's uncle, and told him that the son of his brother had caused troubles for them and their gods. They asked Abu Talib to tell the Prophet (s) to leave their idols alone so that they do not curse the Prophet's God. Abu Talib summoned the Prophet (s) to his house in the presence of those people and told him about their request. The Prophet (s) replied: "can those unbelievers agree with me on a statement, in virtue of which they can surpass and govern all Arabs?" Abu Jahl said, "yes, we agree. What statement do you have in mind?" The Prophet said, "say there is no god except God." When people in Abu Talib's house heard the statement, they were so horrified that they put their fingers in their ears and quickly left the house, saying "we have never seen such a thing; this is false." It was at this occasion that the first verses of "Sura Sad" were revealed.[8]

Historical Stories and Narrations

Stories of Prophets

  • The story of David (a): numerous facilities at the disposal of David (a), mountains and birds exalting God together with him, his stable kingdom, two claimants asking David (a) to adjudicate their case where David (a) listened only to one partly of the dispute, David (a) asking God for forgiveness, David's succession of God on the Earth. (Verses 17-27)
  • The story of Solomon (a): offering noble horses to Solomon (a), Solomon's occupation with the horses and his forgetfulness of his prayer and his command of the return of the sun, the fall of a corpse on Solomon's throne, Solomon's repentance and request for forgiveness, praying for a unique kingdom, his manipulation of winds and satans (jins), the satans working for Solomon (a) as builders and divers. (Verses 30-40)
  • Job (a): sufferings undergone by Job (a), striking the ground with his feet as a result of which a water spring emerged, his children and property being returned to him, striking his wife with a bunch of grass one hundred times, and not breaking his oath. (Verses 41-44)

The Creation of Adam and God's conversation with Iblis

Verses 71 to 85 of Sura Sad are concerned with the story of the creation of Adam (a), God's command to angels to prostrate to Adam (a), and Satan's disobedience of God's command.

  • The creation of Adam (a): verses 71 through 74 of the sura narrate the conversation between God and angels about the creation of Adam (a), the command of angels to prostrate for Adam (a), and the disobedience of Iblis.
  • Iblis's reason for disobedience: in the following verses (75 to 76), God asks Satan about his reason for not prostrating to Adam (a), and in response, he cites his superiority in creation over Adam (a), because he was created from fire and Adam (a) was created from clay. In his interpretation of the phrase, "prostrating to that which I created with My [two] hands," Allama Tabataba'i believes that the phrase is intended to imply a nobility and dignity for Adam (a), because God had created everything else for other things, but He created the human being for Himself. And the word, "hands," appears in the dual form, although it was grammatically permissible to cite it in the singular form as well, in order to imply that God was excessively concerned with the creation of Adam (a), just as we use both hands in actions with which we are very concerned. Thus, "created with my hands" is like the other verse, "what Our hands have made."[10] According to Tabataba'i, Satan did not obey God because he rejected God's absolute ownership of everything. Thus, he thought that it was wrong to prostrate to Adam (a), which is the root of all sins.[11]
  • The curse and outcast of Satan until the known date: God then cursed Iblis. He asked God to give him a time until the Day of Resurrection. In response, God gave him a time until the known date, rather than the Day of Resurrection. According to Allama Tabata'i, "the known date" is until the day when human beings follow Satan, which is one day before the Day of Resurrection.[12]
  • Iblis's oath to deceive human beings and the promise of the Hell for him and his followers: Iblis took an oath to God's might that he was going to mislead people, except God's chosen servants. The "chosen" is said to refer to those whom God has exclusively purified for himself, and to whom no one else, even Satan, has way.[13] In response, God promises the Hell to Iblis and his followers.

Famous Verses

Verse Twenty Six

The verse twenty six of the sura is evidence for the greatness of the position of judgeship, because it is part of the general rule of prophets over people, and if the position is given to an incompetent person, there will be a huge deal of corruption and injustice in the society, which will ultimately undermine the government.[14] The prophet David's judgeship is taken to be an aspect of his position as God's successor on the Earth.[15]

Verse Twenty Nine

The characterization of the Qur'an with the verb, "we sent it down," in the verse is said to imply the instant revelation of the Qur'an, which fits well with reflection and remembrance. Allama Tabataba'i interprets the verse as follows: the book we have sent down to you has may blessings for laypeople as well as elites so that people can reflect upon it and be led to the right path, or at least, they receive the ultimatum. Moreover, wise people can be reminded of God's evidence and be led to the truth.[16]

Merits and Benefits

According to a hadith, the reward for the recitation of Sura Sad is ten times greater than the weight of mountains the control of which was given by God to the Prophet David (a), and God protects people who recite the sura from minor and major sins.[17] According to another hadith, the reward for the recitation of the sura on the night before Friday equals the rewards of prophets and angels, and the reciter of this sura will enter the Heaven.[18]

External Links


  1. Shaykh al-Islāmī, Āshināyī bā sūrahā-yi Qurʾān, p. 68.
  2. Maʿrifat, Āmūzish-i ʿulūm Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 166.
  3. Khurramshāhī, Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān, vol. 2, p. 1248.
  4. Makārim Shīrāzī, Barguzīda-yi tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 4, p. 171.
  5. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 17, p. 181.
  6. Makārim Shīrāzī, Barguzīda-yi tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 4, p. 171.
  7. Khamagar, Muhammad, Sakhtar-i suraha-yi Qur'an-i karim, Mu'assisa-yi Farhangi-yi Qur'an wa 'Itrat-i Nur al-Thaqalayn, Qom: Nashra, ed.1, 1392 Sh.
  8. Qummī, Tafsīr al-Qummī, vol. 2, p. 228; Wāḥidī, Asbāb nuzūl al-Qurʾān, p. 380-381.
  9. Ṣafawī, "Sura Ṣād", p. 750-751.
  10. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 17, p. 225-226.
  11. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 17, p. 226.
  12. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 17, p. 227.
  13. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 17, p. 227.
  14. Mūsawī Ardibīlī, Kitāb al-ghaḍāʾ, vol. 1, p. 7-9.
  15. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 17, p. 195; Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 19, p. 262.
  16. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 17, p. 197.
  17. Baḥrānī, al-Burhān, vol. 4, p. 639; Makārim Shīrāzī, Barguzīda-yi tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 4, p. 172.
  18. Ṣadūq, Thawāb al-aʿmāl, p. 219.


  • Baḥrānī, Sayyid Hāshim b. Sulaymān. Al-Burhān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Qom: Bunyād-i Biʿthat, 1389 Sh.
  • Khurramshāhī, Bahāʾ al-Dīn. Dānishnāma-yi Qurʾān wa Qurʾān pazhūhī. Tehran: Dūstān-Nāhīd, 1377 Sh.
  • Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. Barguzīda-yi tafsīr-i nimūna. Edited by Aḥmad ʿAlī Bābāyī. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1382 Sh.
  • Makārim Shīrāzī, Nāṣir. Tafsīr-i nimūna. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyya, 1371 Sh.
  • Maʿrifat, Muḥammad Hādī. Āmūzish-i ʿulūm-i Qurʾān. [n.p]: Markaz Chāp wa Nashr-i Sāzmān-i Tablīghāt, 1371 Sh.
  • Qummī, ʿAlī b. Ibrāhīm al-. Tafsīr al-Qummī. Edited by Mūsawī Jazāʾirī. Third edition. Qom: Dār al-Kutub, 1363 Sh.
  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. Thawāb al-aʿmāl wa ʿiqāb al-aʿmāl. Edited by Muḥammad Riḍā Anṣārī. Qom: Nasīm-i Kawthar, 1382 Sh.
  • Ṣafawī, Salmān. 1396 Sh. "Sura Ṣād." Dānishnāma-yi Muʿāṣir-i Qurʾān.
  • Shaykh al-Islāmī, Jaʿfar. Āshināyī bā sūrahā-yi Qurʾān. Tehran: Payām-i Āzādī, 1377 Sh.
  • Ṭabāṭabāyī, Mūhammad Ḥusayn al-. Al-Mīzān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Second edition. Beirut: Muʾassisat al-Aʿlamī li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, 1974.
  • Wāḥidī Niyshābūrī, ʿAlī b. Aḥmad al-. Asbāb al-nuzūl. Translated to Farsi by ʿAlī Riḍā Dhikāwatī. Tehran: Nashr-i Niy, 1383 Sh.